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Seagrass meadows globally as a coupled social-ecological system: Implications for human wellbeing

Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C. ORCID:, Mtwana Nordlund, Lina, Paddock, Jessica ORCID:, Baker, Susan ORCID:, McKenzie, Len J. and Unsworth, Richard K. F. 2014. Seagrass meadows globally as a coupled social-ecological system: Implications for human wellbeing. Marine Pollution Bulletin 83 (2) , pp. 387-397. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.06.001

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Seagrass ecosystems are diminishing worldwide and repeated studies confirm a lack of appreciation for the value of these systems. In order to highlight their value we provide the first discussion of seagrass meadows as a coupled social–ecological system on a global scale. We consider the impact of a declining resource on people, including those for whom seagrass meadows are utilised for income generation and a source of food security through fisheries support. Case studies from across the globe are used to demonstrate the intricate relationship between seagrass meadows and people that highlight the multi-functional role of seagrasses in human wellbeing. While each case underscores unique issues, these examples simultaneously reveal social–ecological coupling that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. We conclude that understanding seagrass meadows as a coupled social–ecological system is crucial in carving pathways for social and ecological resilience in light of current patterns of local to global environmental change.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecosystem services; Human wellbeing; Seagrass meadows; Coupled social–ecological system; Ecological systems; Social processes
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0025-326X
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2023 16:49

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